Tuesday Mar 15, 2022. 16:00
Nigeria head coach Augustine Eguavoen has disclosed that he tried to convince Agbonlahor to choose the Super Eagles over England.
The former Aston Villa captain’s ancestry qualified him to play for Scotland or Nigeria at international level, but he chose to play for his country of birth England.
Eguavoen, who is in his second stint as Nigeria head coach, stated he visited Villa Park in Birmingham, England to sound Agbonlahor out on the possibility of representing the Super Eagles.
However, the retired forward was not interested in seeing him and he went on to play three times for England, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Belarus in 2009.
“When Agbonlahor was in Aston Villa, I went to England, I tried to reach him on the phone before going to Villa because it’s not a place you just go to, Aston Villa Stadium in Birmingham, and start looking for a player,” Eguavoen said to Elegbete TV Sports.
“The question was why do you want to see Gabriel Agbonlahor? I said I am the coach of the national team, we are interested in him coming to play for Nigeria, I want to have a conversation.
“They said okay they’ll get back to me. They got back to me only to say Agbonlahor is not ready to see anybody at this point in time, maybe some other time,” he added.
“Take for example you invite Agbonlahor from Aston Villa, you’d look stupid if he doesn’t show up, so you must engage people first, discuss and find out if it’s something they want to get into or not.”
Agbonlahor achieved legendary status at Villa, where he scored 87 goals for the club, and he is their all-time leading Premier League goalscorer, with 74 across 11 consecutive league seasons.